BHP starts first new deepwater GoM production since moratorium

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – BHP Billiton has started production from its Shenzi field in the Gulf of Mexico, thus becoming the first operator with new deepwater production since the moratorium imposed during the Macondo incident.

The SB-201 well in Green Canyon block 653 was drilled to a measured TD of 25,126 ft (7,658 m) and produces approximately 17,000 b/d of oil.

"We are pleased to be able to demonstrate that deepwater drilling and production can resume in a safe and reliable manner,” said J. Michael Yeager, BHP Billiton Petroleum CEO. “Our organization has worked very hard over the past several months with regulators to have the ability to resume drilling operations and add new production to our deepwater Gulf of Mexico portfolio.”

Shenzi is approximately 120 mi (195 km) off the Louisiana coastline in approximately 4,300 ft (1,300 m) of water, making it the second deepest TLP in the world. The overall field comprises four blocks: Green Canyon 609, 610, 653, and 654.

BHP Billiton is the operator with 44% equity. Joint interest participants are Hess Corp. and Repsol, each with 28% equity.

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